Title: Red Dead Redemption 2
Developer: Rockstar Games
Publisher: Rockstar Games
Genre: Action/Adventure, Western
Official Site: Red Dead Redemption 2
Release Date: November 5th, 2019
Version Tested: PC
Red Dead Redemption 2 is a masterpiece of a game. When we reviewed the original release on the PS4 and Xbox One, we found it near perfect. Red Dead Redemption 2 for the PC, when it works, is somehow an improvement on it.
The problem is, getting the game to work right isn’t a given. Rockstar’s latest release had a bumpy launch.
For a few days at least, it was near impossible to get the game to even boot up. A recent update has seemingly fixed most of the problems, but some issues still linger.
What is clear is that Red Dead Redemption 2 for the PC was not ready for prime time. Just why that is, can be covered another day. What is also clear is Rockstar Games worked hard to make a game that will eventually be worth the wait.
Another question that hasn’t been answered yet, is whether or not it’s a game worth the price.
Still Pretty, After All These Months
One of the things Red Dead Redemption 2 had going for it from the beginning has been how pretty it is. Unsurprisingly, it’s even prettier on the PC.
That opening scene, when your gang is galloping through the snow, is beath taking every… single… time. It’s so good and so realistic, I felt like if I looked outside my window, I’d seen a blizzard roaring through town.
Little things like the way the lamps Martson and company are carrying shine in the winter night make the game so good to look at. There’s an argument to be made about the action, which is also still really good, interrupts the beauty too much.
One big addition to Red Dead Redemption 2 for the PC is a new photo mode. It can be hard to tell people just how gorgeous this game is. Rockstar understands those travails.
Now, using photo mode, you can show anyone who hasn’t seen it, how incredibly beautiful this game is. Overall, the PC port is going to look amazing, even if you decide to do something like take a photo of your horse… relieving itself in the middle of the road. (Don’t share that picture with people, please)
It is clear Rockstar has worked hard on improving the graphical quality of this game. The fact that they’ve managed to make it look better than what it was when it launched for the consoles was quite the accomplishment.
New Missions are Time Well Spent
Improving the way Red Dead Redemption 2 looks was just part of the PC port. Rockstar knew asking $60 for a game plenty of people already own was a tall order. The company also added plenty of things you simply won’t find on consoles, at least not yet.
While no one is going to mistake this as a brand new game, there’s plenty to do that is new. There are also just enough new items that loot hunters are going to look for.
The game’s devs touched on a little bit of everything when it comes to content additions. There are some new missions and some new bounties players can go after. There are also new guns.
There are even new horses to ride if you’re sick of your old mare. No, this isn’t a brand new game but there’s enough new there that you could certainly make the case your $60 on the PC gets you Red Dead Redemption 2 DLC.
Considering this is a company that notoriously doesn’t really do DLC for story mode anymore, that can be worth the cost. If you’re someone who has enjoyed the story that came with the “base game”, getting to spend time checking out all the additions are worth it.
It’s Time to Talk About the Obvious
For the most part, Red Dead Redemption 2 for the PC is a very good game. It’s still visually stunning. It still possesses fantastic voice acting and writing. It’s fun to ride your horse across the countryside.
Getting to see and do all those things continues to be a problem. While we didn’t have all the issues some have reported online, there were significant issues throughout. Stuttering, even after a patch, still shows up every now and then. Even running on a powerful PC, the game can look like it’s chugging along.
That’s not good in this day and age. It’s not acceptable from a company that is as established and well funded as Rockstar. If there is a strike against it, technical performance is it.
At times, those technical failings are enough to make someone who wants to sit down for a long stay in the game’s world get up and leave 20 minutes later.
Even as it seems likely Rockstar will fix what ails Red Dead Redemption 2 for the PC in the near future, they are problems that shouldn’t exist at launch. Not after this long of a wait.
Verdict: Red Dead Redemption 2 for the PC probably would have been just fine without tweaks and additions. The game on the console was so good a straight port would still be one of the best games out there. The problem, of course, is that a game you can’t even play is never going to win over hearts and minds. Improvements have been rolled out and no doubt more are coming. There are still enough problems to drag down the PC version of the game for now.
- The scenery is still gorgeous
- Photomode is a much welcome addition
- New additions make the story and gameplay that much better
- Launch issues made it nearly unplayable
- Even with the patch, the game doesn't run as smoothly as it should